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Technical and scientific discussion of amps, cables and other topics.

But is recording technique getting better?

Many of the recent recordings I've heard are compressed to death; the only goal seems to be to get the level as high as possible. This (unfortunately) also seems to be the norm for concert PA management -- crank everything up until it's simply a wall of distortion with zero dynamic range.

With a few exceptions, it seems like we're going backwards, not forwards...

I wonder if the convenience/portability/durability of CD has contributed to this? For example, lots of people (including me) play CDs in their cars, where you have to use compression or you lose music down in the noise.

BTW, in the CD-is-good-or-evil debate, there's one thing that is rarely talked about:

The CD was pushed to market with whatever sample rate was possible given the silicon available at the time, not the sample rate that was determined to be appropriate for good sound. Given the Moore's Law rate of chip improvement, a 12-24 month delay in the release of CD might have given us a far better medium with less sonic compromise.

Anyone who looks you in the eye and claims that a brickwall filter at 20kHz and a 16-bit sample rate is "perfect sound" is deluding themselves. Anyone looked at the distortion spectrum of a CD player at -40dB (where a lot of the music is) instead of at 0dB?

Notice that Sony is now touting the audibe benefits of SACDs extended bandwidth? But wait, we can't hear anything above 20kHz.........

Peter


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